Präoperative Nahrungskarenz: Ein update

Translated title of the contribution: Preoperative fasting. An update

C. D. Spies, J. P. Breuer, R. Gust, M. Wichmann, M. Adolph, M. Senkal, U. Kampa, W. Weissauer, A. Schleppers, E. Soreide, E. Martin, U. Kaisers, K. J. Falke, N. Haas, W. J. Kox

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

59 Citations (Scopus)


In Germany the predominant standard of preoperative care for elective surgery is fasting after midnight, with the aim of reducing the risk of pulmonary aspiration. However, for the past several years the scientific evidence supporting such a practice has been challenged. Experimental and clinical studies prove a reliable gastric emptying within 2 h suggesting that, particularly for limited intake of clear fluids up to 2 h preoperatively, there would be no increased risk for the patient. In addition, the general incidence of pulmonary aspiration during general anaesthesia (before in duction, during surgery and during recovery) is extremely low, has a good prognosis and is more a consequence of insufficient airway protection and/or inadequate anaesthetic depth rather than due to the patient's fasting state. Therefore, primarily to decrease perioperative discomfort for patients, several national anaesthesia societies have changed their guidelines for preoperative fasting. They recommend a more liberal policy regarding per os intake of both liquid and solid food, with consideration of certain conditions and contraindications. The following article reviews the literature and gives an overview of the scientific background on which the national guidelines are based. The intention of this review is to propose recommendations for preoperative fasting regarding clear fluids for Germany as well.

Translated title of the contributionPreoperative fasting. An update
Original languageGerman
Pages (from-to)1039-1045
Number of pages7
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Clear fluids
  • Liberal fasting rules
  • National guidelines
  • Preoperative fasting
  • Risk of aspiration
  • Solids


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